Found September 09, 2012 on
Fox Sports Florida:
Four of the five meetings between the Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays over the last week-plus have either been decided by one run or in extra innings.
There's little reason to expect any less than another exciting matchup when two teams hoping to make a run in October conclude their season series Sunday at Tropicana Field.
Texas took two of three against Tampa Bay from Aug. 27-29, winning the first two games by a single run before falling 8-4 in the finale. The teams have split a pair of extra-inning affairs to open this set, as the Rays won 3-1 in 11 on Friday before the Rangers answered with a 4-2, 10-inning victory Saturday.
Jurickson Profar, a 19-year-old rookie, hit a tie-breaking RBI double in the 10th on Saturday, adding another exciting moment in his brief career to go along with a homer in his first major league at-bat last Sunday against Cleveland.
"He's not afraid of the game," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "At 19 years old, that's special."
Josh Hamilton hit his 40th homer and had three RBIs for AL-best Texas (83-56), which has a comfortable lead in the West. The Rays (76-63) are two games behind East co-leaders Baltimore and New York.
"The razor-thin line between winning and losing was on display tonight," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.
Tampa Bay, which has won five of seven despite Saturday's loss, will look to bounce back with help from James Shields (13-8, 3.88 ERA), whose only blemish in his last seven starts was a tough-luck, 1-0 loss Aug. 28 at Texas.
The right-hander allowed Ian Kinsler's fourth-inning homer among three hits in seven innings of that contest. Shields had won his previous four regular-season starts against the two-time defending AL champs, who have knocked the Rays out of the playoffs in each of the last two seasons.
Shields improved to 5-1 with a 2.22 ERA over his last seven starts after allowing three runs in eight innings of a 4-3 win over the Yankees on Monday. He's 3-0 with a 2.40 ERA in four non-playoff home starts against the Rangers, who will counter with Roy Oswalt (4-2, 5.85) as he starts in place of Matt Harrison.
Washington has decided to push Harrison's start to Tuesday against the Indians in order to get him some extra rest for the stretch run.
"We're just trying to give (Harrison) an extra couple of days," Washington told the Rangers' official website. "He understands that last year we gave him a break and it helped him. He's the only one that's been on regular terms, so we're gonna do it right now and see where it takes us."
Oswalt allowed one run in 2 1-3 innings of relief in Tuesday's 6-3 loss to Kansas City. The right-hander's last start was Aug. 23, when he gave up four runs - three earned - in 5 1-3 innings of the Rangers' 10-6 win over Minnesota.
His only start versus the Rays was June 20, 2008, when he allowed two runs in 7 2-3 innings of a 4-3 win for Houston.
These teams have split eight meetings, meaning Sunday will decide the season series.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
This past Sunday Rays center fielder B.J. Upton lost his wallet after it fell out of his truck, which put a sour note on an otherwise excellent day for the Tampa Bay outfielder (Upton hit three home runs against the Rangers in a 6-0 Rays victory). You would have to figure that a lost wallet belonging to a millionaire professional baseball player would be as good as gone once some...
Rangers rookie Jurickson Profar delivered what turned out to be a game-winning double against the Rays on Saturday night, but he claims he acted like a savvy veteran in the process. In the top of the 10th, Tampa Bay reliever Kyle Farnsworth threw a pitch way inside on the 19-year-old in a moment that could have been interpreted as Farnsworth welcoming him to the big leagues. Profar...
Roy Oswalt, who was making his first start since Aug. 23 for the Texas Rangers, left Sunday's game against Tampa Bay after two innings because of soreness in his right elbow. Oswalt allowed four runs on six hits, including homers by B.J. Upton and Jose Molina, in his two innings of work. He left with the Rangers trailing 4-0. Oswalt had been moved to the bullpen, but started...
Things to know before we proceed with this article about B.J. Upton:
(1) B.J. Upton is set to become a free agent after the end of this season, and he is newly 28 years old.
(2) Yesterday, in the last game of a series between the Rays and the Rangers, B.J. Upton slugged three home runs. They were his 19th, 20th, and 21st home runs of the year.
I was tricking you before — this article...
As recently as a year ago, Andrew Friedman was the resident genius in baseball. This was especially true when it came to building a farm system. It’s a lot easier to build a farm system when you have one of the top picks in the draft every season. Since 2008, they have not picked in the top twenty at any time because of their success on the field. They have been able...
The Double-A Frisco RoughRiders finished off a three-game sweep of Corpus Christi on Friday, advancing to the Texas League Championship Series. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action in the Texas Rangers' system.
Tampa Bay center fielder B.J. Upton hit three homers Sunday against the Texas Rangers, tying the team record.
Upton connected for a first-pitch leadoff shot against Roy Oswalt in the first and added solo shots against Martin Perez in the fourth and sixth.
Upton, who struck out in the second, received a standing ovation before hitting a broken-bat grounder in the eighth.
The Tampa Bay Rays have been pitching well all season, but they are doing even better now that it matters most. In taking two of three from the New York Yankees and then two of three from the Texas Rangers, the Rays pitched to a 2.21 ERA, allowing only 14 earned runs. They limited the opponents to a .169 average. "We're just trying to keep that momentum going, trying...
Rookie Jurickson Profar hit a tiebreaking RBI double in the 10th inning, helping the Texas Rangers beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-2 on Saturday night.
Geovany Soto had a two-out double to deep center off Kyle Farnsworth (1-4). Profar then made it 3-2 when he drove in pinch-runner Leonys Martin on his hit past a diving Carlos Pena down the first-base line.
Texas took a 4-2 lead when...
B.J. Upton hit three home runs, James Shields threw a two-hitter and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Texas Rangers 6-0 on Sunday.
Upton hit solo homers in the first, fourth and sixth innings. He struck out in second, and received a standing ovation before hitting a broken-bat grounder to third in the eighth.
Upton joined Evan Longoria (2008) and Jonny Gomes (2005) as the only Tampa...
Texas Rangers right-hander Roy Oswalt left yesterday’s start
due to soreness near his elbow, but the veteran doesn’t expect it to cause him
to miss significant time, reports Evan Grant of SportsDayDFW:
Oswalt left Sunday’s start
with what was described as right flexor muscle soreness near his elbow. After
the game, he said he should be fine in two to three days...
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Ben Zobrist's home run in the bottom of the 11th inning lifted the Tampa Bay Rays to a 3-1 victory over the Texas Rangers on Friday night.
Zobrist's 16th homer came off Mark Lowe (0-1) after a leadoff walk to B.J. Upton.
Wade Davis (3-0) got the win after striking out five of the six hitters he faced in the 10th and 11th innings.